Run of defeats and cup exits show Solskjaer has big rebuild ahead of him at Man United

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had an incredible start when took over as Manchester United caretaker boss.

However, the reality of the squad he has inherited has started to bite since the thrilling 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain that sparked him being given the job permanently.

Two of the five defeats since have come against Barcelona but Solskjaer clearly has a rebuilding job ahead of him, and admitted as much after Tuesday night’s 3-0 loss at the Camp Nou.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the tough run of results since the unexpected Paris triumph.

Arsenal 2 Manchester United 0, Premier League, March 10

Solskjaer suffered his first defeat in the Premier League, with David De Gea at fault for Granit Xhaka’s opening goal.

Wolves 2 Manchester United 1, FA Cup, March 16

United were well below-par as they missed the opportunity to reach the semi-finals. Marcus Rashford’s late consolation goal was barely deserved and afterwards Solskjaer called it the “poorest performance” during his spell in charge.

Manchester United 2 Watford 1, Premier League, March 30

Solskjaer was made to sweat for his first win as permanent manager as sluggish United rode their luck and were outplayed for large parts of the match.

Wolves 2 Manchester United 1, Premier League, April 2

United took an early lead through Scott McTominay’s strike and played well until Diogo Jota’s 25th-minute equaliser. Solskjaer’s team still threatened after Ashley Young’s 57th-minute red card but slipped to a second defeat at Molineux in the space of 17 days.

Manchester United 0 Barcelona 1, Champions League, April 10

Barcelona were not at their best but were still good enough to beat United. Luke Shaw’s own goal proved the difference but Solskjaer’s side did not even manage a shot on target.

Manchester United 2 West Ham 1, Premier League, April 13

Solskjaer’s stuttering side managed a fortuitous win courtesy of a couple of Paul Pogba penalties. The decisive spot-kick 10 minutes from time came against the run of play as West Ham dominated and looked the most likely to win the match.

Barcelona 3 United 0, Champions League, April 16

United were unable to reproduce another improbably comeback like the one in Paris, despite starting well and causing Barcelona problems. However, a quick first-half double from Lionel Messi killed the tie and Solskjaer’s side were outclassed thereafter.

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